Hot House: ‘Robinhurst’ 1200 Carrollton, Ruxton, MD 21204
Broker’s Open, Wednesday, 12-2pm
American post-modern style house in painted brick, circa 1950, extensively modernized, with front porch, swimming pool, greenhouse and writer’s cottage. Five bedrooms, 5.5 baths over 3,294 sq. ft . Two stories, with finished basement and attached two-car garage. Center hall layout, living room/fireplace, dining room, music room, library w/ wet bar. Kitchen w/ two marble-topped islands, large dining/family area and stone fireplace with raised hearth. Main floor bedroom with full bath. Master suite with dressing room, fireplace. Hardwood floors, central a/c. Sleeping porch overlooking pool. One and a half acres with stone patio and extensive hardscaping: $1,325,000
What: A lovely Robert A.M.Stern-inspired home that combines romance and practicality on a site worthy of an old Ruxton estate. Over the past thirty years, Stern, now dean of the Yale School of Architecture, helped to change the skyline of Manhattan with grand residential high rises distinguished by their references to architectural history – a sort of Ralph Lauren of architecture. In the Hamptons, Stern built a series of modern-meets-Victorian shingle-style mansions that sparked a revival of the genre. Here at Robinhurst, a nice renovation by the current owners raised the roofline and added classic elements from the American architectural vernacular such as dormers, columns, wainscoting. The improvements turned a house that was solid but ‘meh’ into a place worthy of its spectacular setting. Now, a welcoming front porch attracts the sun on a spring afternoon. Skylights and raised dormers let light in throughout the house. Ten sets of french doors, many with wide transoms, offer access and full views of the expansive backyard, which is big and flat enough for a soccer game. The property backs to a wooded ravine that gives privacy to human inhabitants but attracts birdlife in huge numbers. In a tree behind the house, two families of blue herons have built nests, to which they return to every spring. Omens of prosperity, wisdom and long life.
Where: Carrollton Avenue is a pretty road that leads up the hill from Bellona Avenue in Ruxton. This end of Carrollton is more easily accessed from Boyce Avenue, which also leads off of Bellona (take a right at the playground of Church of the Good Shepherd). It is a nice, 10-minute walk to Graul’s Market, and a little farther to the trails of Lake Roland Park. Public schools are top-rated Riderwood Elementary, Dunbarton Middle, and Towson High School. Both downtown and north of town are easily accessible from here.
Why: Romantic views of the sunset from the master bedroom.
Why Not: Blue herons likely to mercilessly raid outdoor fish pond — in case you were thinking of one.
Would Suit: Swiss family Robinson. Easy outdoor living … sleeping porch, birds, pool, treehouse.
NB: Spectacular children’s treehouse in the large tree near writer’s cottage.